One of my good friends and a partner in The Mystery Band is facing a problem. He is an awesome guitarist, and he has reached middle age with an average amount of wear and tear. One of the items that is wearing and tearing is his rotator cuff - that group of muscles and their associated tendons that act to stablize the shoulder. His right rotator cuff is torn. This is an injury usually sutained by baseball pitchers or football quarterbacks due to repeated, forceful overhand throwing motions. Who knew that you can tear your rotator cuff through the repeated forceful pulling motions associated with the lifting of heavy guitar amplifiers? That is what has occurred with my partner.
Unlike many self-employed musicians, my partner does have health insurance. The tear can be repaired, and his insurance would cover it. But here is the dilemma - the surgery would force him to put down the guitar for at least three months. He told me. "Mr. G, if I go without working for three months, I might end up homeless." Health insurance is great, but my partner needs disability insurance, too. But disability insurance is wicked expensive, and tough for self-employed musicians to find.
My partner has a stop-gap solution - he is now lifting his amp with his left hand. Crikey.